HC Deb 16 February 1967 vol 741 cc775-6
27. Mr. Frederic Harris

asked the Postmaster-General why, at approximately 1.45 p.m. on Sunday, 29th January, it took nearly 20 minutes and more than 200 rings on the telephone at Woldingham 2365 to get the operator to answer; and what action he proposes to take to improve this service.

Mr. Joseph Slater

This was due to an intermittent fault between Woldingham automatic exchange and the switchboard, which had not been detected by routine testing. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

Mr. Harris

Will the hon. Gentleman note that these intermittent faults are constantly occurring, and will he make sure that, until there is an improvement in the service, there can be no question of increasing telephone rentals?

Mr. Slater

The circuits at this exchange between Woldingham and the switchboard are systematically tested. The fault was intermittent, as I have said, and it was of a type which was not detectable by the normal testing procedures. With the best will in the world, we cannot prevent occasional failures of this kind.